TEHRAN, Iran (Kurdistan24) – Highly acclaimed Kurdish filmmaker was released on Wednesday from Evin Prison in Tehran after spending six months behind the bars for having made a film that Iran said, "insulted the sanctities."
Keywan Karimi is an honorary filmmaker of a highly-recognized global event on cinema and human rights.
In 2013, Karimi also spent 15 days in solitary confinement for “insulting religious values.” He was subsequently tried and convicted but continued his filmmaking.
The 2017 International Film Festival and Forum on Human Rights (FIFDH) dedicated its 15th-anniversary program to this prominent Kurdish filmmaker held in captivity in Iran.
Some 300 guests from 62 different countries gathered in Geneva on March 10-19 and offered 134 events during the main session of the United Nations Human Rights Council.
An international organization also said it was concerned for the health of the imprisoned Kurdish filmmaker in Iran.
PEN International said Karimi, jailed since Nov. 23, 2016, has had multiple episodes of pulmonary bleeding.
“Doctors at Tehran’s Evin Prison have said that he has bronchitis and an acute lung infection and have advised a transfer to a [specialized] facility,” PEN reported.
“However, the prison authorities have reportedly refused to [authorize] this transfer,” the organization added.
The filmmaker is reportedly expected to receive 223 lashes while in prison.
Karimi, an independent Kurdish filmmaker from Baneh, Kurdistan Province, was charged with “insulting sanctities” for his documentary “Writing on the City.”
The documentary presented the political graffiti in Tehran objecting the suppression in the country from the 1979 Islamic Revolution through Iran’s 2009 post-presidential election crisis.
He made the black-and-white “Drum” recounting the story of a lawyer in Tehran who receives a package in the mail causing an upheaval in his life.
Last December, French filmmakers asked France and other European countries to pressure Iran to release Karimi.
“I have no intention of leaving the country and shall serve the sentence,” he said.
Moreover, his conviction was a cause célèbre during the Cannes Festival in May.
Karimi is known among international film critics for his 2013 black-and-white minimalist film “The Adventure of the Married Couple.”
The film played in some 40 festivals, winning prizes in Spain and Colombia.